Play It Again Sports, 2276 N. Webb Road in Grand Island, not only has a new owner but a new look.
Scott Dugan has purchased the business from Barry Schultz, who started the Grand Island store in 1994. The store was closed Tuesday and Wednesday as Dugan and his staff did some remodeling for the grand opening under Dugan’s ownership this weekend.
Dugan, who has lived in Grand Island since 1999, moved here after leaving the military. His wife, Tammy, is a Grand Island native. They have two children, Matthew, 16, and Audrey, 8.
“We decided to raise our family in a town where we were comfortable,” he said.
Dugan left his job as president and chief executive officer of Mid-Plains Center for Behavioral Healthcare Services to own and operate Play It Again Sports. He had worked at Mid-Plains since 2000.
Dugan said he and his family have participated in Grand Island’s sports scene over the years.
“Our family has been involved in sports of various kinds,” he said. “As our kids have been growing up, they have been involved in a lot of activities. For some years now, we have talked off and on about owning our own business and making a difference in a different way than what we were. When this opportunity came about, it seemed like a good fit.”
When Barry and Deb Schultz decided to sell Play It Again Sports, Dugan said, “we saw it as a unique opportunity to put our passion and love of sports together with an opportunity to help build a business that means a lot to this community.”
Dugan’s passion is golf. He is a certified professional club maker and club-fitting specialist, which will be part of the services offered at Play It Again Sports.
“For any business to be successful, the owner has to have a passion for what it is you are doing and the products you are going to be offering,” he said.
Dugan said he was familiar with Play It Again Sports as a customer and knew the Schultzes for many years.
“I knew what this store was about, and I knew what this store means to the community and to Central Nebraska,” he said. “It is a store built on the principle of offering value to families.”
Dugan said it can be expensive for a family to get a child started in a sport.
“If you want to start golf or football, or any of those things, buying all new products can be a hit on a parent’s budget. The model of Play It Again Sports is that we offer a lot of good quality, new products, but more importantly, we also offer gently used products at a great value.”
Overall, it is about getting kids and parents active in some type of sports activity, which helps to promote a healthy life.
Along with selling new and used sporting equipment of all types, they will also take older equipment as a trade-in if a customer wants to purchase new equipment.
Play It Again Sports is a national franchise with nearly 400 stores across the country. The franchise has been around since the early 1980s.
“We are always looking for good value and looking for an opportunity to be frugal but get our needs met,” Dugan said. “That is what the store is about, and that is why it fits so well with our family.”
He said Play It Again Sports is a “full-service neighborhood sports and fitness store.”
“We offer a wide variety of both sporting goods and fitness equipment … everything from cardio, such as treadmills and ellipticals, down to weights and dumbbells,” Dugan said. “We pride ourselves in being able to offer great value because you have the opportunity to bring your used goods in, such as the treadmill that was taking up space that you don’t use or need any more. Why not bring it in and get something you like?
“You can get the cash for it; you can trade it in for store credit for a future purchase. That way, folks looking to get into some type of fitness equipment, but don’t have enough to buy that brand new product, can get that good-quality product that they can afford.”
Play It Again Sports can also sell bigger-ticket items ($200 or more) on consignment.
Dugan said 70 percent of the items sold at Play It Again Sports are new quality equipment from brand-name manufacturers.
“There are 392 stores that have the purchasing power behind it like any other chain of stores, so we have the opportunity to get all the name-brand products in each of the sporting and fitness categories that people might be looking for,” he said. “One of the areas I am hoping to grow is the things our community really wants to have and what kind of value we can bring them in those products.”
Dugan also wants to continue a hallmark that Schultz started with Play It Again Sports: “Making sure that kids have an opportunity to participate in sports.”
“He has done a great job, and I plan to continue in working with the various Little Leagues, football programs, volleyball programs,” Dugan said, “so that continues to be an area that the store is known for.”
Dugan also hopes to expand his store in two popular areas of sporting interest: disc golf and functional fitness.
“I also want to be the place for people to come to get all their cross-fit gear as that is the new fitness model that people are really enjoying, and we hope to carry a wide selection of those items,” he said.
Schultz said, in selling Play It Again Sports to Dugan, he was “looking for somebody to be enthused about the business and who really wanted to try to grow the business.”
“We made a good decision with Scott,” Schultz said. “He really has made some changes already for the better.”
“We want to continue the legacy that Barry and Deb have created with their involvement in keeping the youth activities and leagues going and their sponsorship and partnerships with all those various groups,” Dugan said. “I hope to keep doing that and grow into some of the new groups that are forming.”
Store hours are 10 am to 7 pm Mondays through Fridays, 10 am to 5 pm Saturdays and 1 to 5 pm Sundays.
Play It Again Sports’ website is www.playitagainsportsgrandisland.com, and telephone number is 381-0123.